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James McNeill Whistler (1834 – 1903)


American-born, British-based painter and etcher.
James McNeill Whistler
John Ruskin: "The labour of two days is that for which you ask two hundred guineas?"
Whistler: "No. I ask it for the knowledge I have gained in the work of a lifetime."
Whistler quotes
The rare few, who, early in life, have rid themselves of the friendship of the many.
Whistler
If other people are going to talk, conversation becomes impossible.




Whistler James McNeill quotes
Two and two continue to make four, in spite of the whine of the amateur for three, or the cry of the critic for five.
Whistler James McNeill
I can't tell you if genius is hereditary, because heaven has granted me no offspring.
James McNeill Whistler quotes
It would have been called provincial and barbarous; it would have been cited as an incident of low civilization to confuse such art.
James McNeill Whistler
Nature is usually wrong.
Whistler James McNeill quotes
Art is upon the Town!
Whistler
Just as music is the poetry of the ear, so painting is that of the eye.
Whistler James McNeill
Industry in art is a necessity—not a virtue—and any evidence of the same, in the production, is a blemish, not a quality; a proof, not of achievement, but of absolutely insufficient work, for work alone will efface the footsteps of work.
James McNeill Whistler
It takes a long time for a man to look like his portrait.




James McNeill Whistler quotes
Art should be independent of all claptrap — should stand alone [...] and appeal to the artistic sense of eye or ear, without confounding this with emotions entirely foreign to it, as devotion, pity, love, patriotism and the like.
James McNeill Whistler
Listen! There was never an artistic period. There was never an art-loving nation.
Whistler quotes
"I know of only two painters in the world," said a newly introduced feminine enthusiast to Whistler, "yourself and Velasquez." "Why," answered Whistler in dulcet tones, "why drag in Velasquez?"
Whistler James McNeill
May I therefore acknowledge the tender glow of health induced by reading, as I sat here in the morning sun, the flattering attention paid me by your gentleman of ready wreath and quick biography!
Whistler James McNeill quotes
As music is the poetry of sound, so is painting the poetry of sight, and the subject-matter has nothing to do with harmony of sound or of colour. The great musicians knew this. Beethoven and the rest wrote music — simply music; symphony in this key, concerto or sonata in that. . . . Art should be independent of all claptrap — should stand alone, and appeal to the artistic sense of eye or ear, without confounding this with emotions entirely foreign to it, as devotion, pity, love, patriotism, and the like. All these have no kind of concern with it; and that is why I insist on calling my works 'arrangements' and 'harmonies.'
James McNeill Whistler
The masterpiece should appear as the flower to the painter—perfect in its bud as in its bloom—with no reason to explain its presence—no mission to fulfill—a joy to the artist, a delusion to the philanthropist—a puzzle to the botanist—an accident of sentiment and alliteration to the literary man.
James McNeill Whistler quotes
Oscar Wilde: "I wish I had said that"
Whistler: "You will, Oscar, you will."
James McNeill Whistler
To say of a picture, as is often said in its praise, that it shows great and earnest labor, is to say that it is incomplete and unfit for view.
Whistler James McNeill
I am not arguing with you — I am telling you.


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